Ecuador Submits Application To Join CPTPP

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Ecuador applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to reduce its dependence on oil and diversify its economy through exports. Ecuador “has applied for membership” in the CPTPP, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Twitter on December 17.

According to Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New Zealand – the depositary of the CPTPP – has accepted the application and asked other member countries for evaluation. A spokesperson for New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said that “the next step in this process will be for all CPTPP members, through the CPTPP Council, to decide whether to implement the admissions process for Ecuador or not.”

According to experts, Ecuador is likely to face obstacles when it comes to meeting the CPTPP’s strict requirements on market liberalisation. Ecuador’s accession process is unlikely to go smoothly. With a population of 17 million, Ecuador’s main exports are petroleum, bananas and shrimp. It left the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 2020 and is trying to find other revenue streams.

“Our aim is very clear: Sign free trade agreements with at least 10 of the world’s largest economies,” Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso told EFE in September. “Among them. This includes the US, China, Japan, Korea and also Eurasian countries.”

With 11 members, including Vietnam, the CPTPP agreement accounts for 13% of global trade. Many countries and territories are also interested in joining the CPTPP, including the UK, China and Taiwan. Ecuador is the first Latin American country to apply for accession in this batch. Currently, Chile, Mexico, and Peru are members of the CPTPP.

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